Food

Not Your Average PB&J

February 19, 2014

iStock_000003130902SmallAdmit it- there are times when all you really want to eat is a PB&J sandwich.  I know we all tend to relegate peanut butter and jelly to lunch boxes and the under 12 crowd but seriously, the average American child will eat close to 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the time they finish high school and adults over 30 still manage to put away a 10 or so a year.

Peanut butter was invented in 1895 by Dr. John Kellogg (he of corn flake creating fame) as a protein substitute for patients with no teeth. George Washington Carver improved and expanded on the original concoction and in 1922, J. L. Rosefield of Rosefield Packing Company came up with an ingenious way to keep the peanut oil from separating out of the peanut butter. This new and improved version called “Skippy Brand” became a nationwide favorite

While purist say that in order to create the perfect sandwich you need equal parts peanut butter and jelly, anyone who’s ever made a sandwich knows that’s absurd. You just glob on as much of either as you like and chow down. The smack down between crunchy and smooth peanut butter lovers is as old as the invention of the sandwich. Both are great options so use what you like. On a food factoid note, crunchy peanut butter has slightly more unsaturated fat than smooth does, while smooth does not contain as much fiber as crunchy.

I’ve read that grape is the preferred jelly choice with strawberry a close second. Honestly, I don’t care which flavor I get. I’m an equal opportunity PB&J fan. While some people feel that strategic slicing (diagonal vs. horizontal) is a key factor in the whole experience, I draw the line at cutting off the crusts.

The following recipes are wild and crazy variations of the PB&J. I hope you enjoy eating them as much as I did when I tested the recipes.

 

PAN FRIED PB&J (dairy or pareve)

2 slices of good quality egg bread (challah)
peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
jam, your choice of flavor
2 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened

Make a peanut butter sandwich using your favorite jelly or jam. In a skillet, melt about one tablespoon of butter. Using 1/2 tablespoon butter, butter one side of the sandwich. Place the buttered side down in the hot pan. Press down on the sandwich with a spatula for 10 seconds. Once the side in the pan is golden, butter the top of the sandwich with the remaining butter and turn it over.  When the second side is done remove the sandwich from the pan, place it on a serving plate, cut in half and enjoy. Makes one sandwich.

My file source unknown

 

PINEAPPLE PB&J (pareve)

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
hot sauce, to taste
1/2 cup sliced or crushed pineapple
1/4 cup shredded carrot
8 slices bread (thicker is better)

In a bowl, combine the peanut butter and cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add the hot sauce to taste. Spread the mixture on the bread. Place the pineapple and carrots on top of 4 slices of bread and then top with the remaining slices. cut in half and serve. Makes 4 sandwiches

My file source unknown

 

PEANUT BUTTER, KOSHER BREAKFAST BEEF AND CHERRY JAM  (meat)

½ cup peanut butter
8 slices kosher breakfast beef, cooked crisp (you can use the fake stuff)
2 apples, sliced
8 slices of bread of choice
4 tablespoons cherry jam

Spread the peanut butter on 4 slices of bread and the cherry jam on 4 slices of bread. Layer the breakfast beef and apples on the 4 slices of bread with the peanut butter and then top with the slices covered with cherry jam. Cut in half and serve. Makes 4 sandwiches

My file source unknown

 

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY CAKE (dairy)
This technically isn’t a sandwich but it tasted like one!

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for the pan
All-purpose flour, for the pan
1 18.25-ounce box white cake mix, plus required ingredients
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup grape jelly

Butter a 9-inch-square cake pan, line with parchment, then butter again and dust with flour. Make the cake mix and fill the pan three-quarters full (you’ll have batter left over). Bake at 350°F until a toothpick comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn it out onto a rack and let it cool completely. Transfer the cake to a work surface. Trim off the top using a serrated knife, then slice the cake in half horizontally.

Beat the butter and peanut butter with a mixer until smooth. Alternate adding the confectioners’ sugar and milk, beating after each addition, until the frosting is fluffy and smooth. In another bowl, whisk the grape jelly until it’s loose and spreadable.

Spread a thick layer of peanut butter frosting on the bottom cake half.

Spread the grape jelly on top of the peanut butter frosting, making sure to reach the edges. Top with the remaining cake layer.

Cut the cake in half diagonally and transfer to a serving plate. Separate the halves slightly to show the filling.

Modified from the foodnetwork.com

© Eileen Goltz peanut butter 14